Pupils can be problems in schoolAs a secretary in a...


January 01, 1996

Pupils can be problems in school

As a secretary in a Baltimore County elementary school, I feel I must defend Anthony G. Marchione as interim school superintendent.

According to the report on minority achievement, black leaders feel the school board should conduct a thorough search for a new superintendent. Please think what really is needed.

In recent years, we are registering more and more children coming from outside of the county. Some children in grades 2 and 3 cannot read. Some are age-appropriate for first or second grade and have never been to school.

Parents drop their children off at school at 7:20 a.m. for a 8:05 a.m. start, or leave them after school waiting an hour or more. The behavior is outrageous and discipline becomes a major part of the day. There is no respect for adult authority.

While many of us are working parents, we must find time for our children. Dr. Marchione cannot be responsible for the job of parenting.

Eighteen hours a day are your responsibility, six hours ours. Read to your child, teach them right from wrong, and encourage them to be the best. Give your child a good foundation, we will do the rest.

anet Silverman


Community college decisions questioned

As a concerned student of Catonsville Community College, I am disturbed by many of the decisions of the new chancellor in Baltimore County.

In recent articles in The Sun and the CCC newspaper, many reductions in services and staff have been announced, as well as the closing of the tutorial center.

These moves have been made for the stated purpose of saving the county community college system money.

In reality, these cuts are paying for the expenses of the new central administration at the cost of people's jobs and valuable services to the students. No savings have yet occurred.

If anything, I hope Daniel J. LaVista would keep some of the employees who provide important services and keep the tutorial center open. He should re-examine the necessity of adding extra layers of highly paid administrators whose functions are already being done by various deans and their assistants.

Why must the students and employees lose services and jobs when Dr. LaVista is unwilling to sacrifice anything in turn?

Steven S. King


Public dollars wasted on hopeless patients

Several studies have confirmed that a large percentage of the health care dollar is spent in the last six months of a patient's life.

Some estimate that over 50 percent of all health care is spent on intensive care and testing on patients whose own caretakers think have little chance of benefiting.

This is justified by the idea that it might help or might extend medical knowledge. Yet it does not make the patient have a miraculous recovery and in fact considerably adds to the patient's suffering.

There may be a direct correlation between the amount of Medicare dollars spent on a patient in the last six months of life and the amount of suffering experienced by that patient.

This subject is taboo. Never in the debate on Medicare cutbacks is it mentioned. Seldom in the medical literature is it studied. Surely the doctors, hospitals and insurance companies have not purposely excluded this subject from serious discussions because it would result eventually in a decrease in health care dollars spent, would they?

Ironically, discussions on the futility of medical care are often left up to those least likely to be able to decide rationally. The family, often in conflict over guilt and lost hopes, is asked to make a decision to withhold care.

This decision is often presented late in the course of a terminal illness when the suffering of the patient has become so obviously untenable that even the doctor is willing to discuss the futility of the situation. Occasionally the family's guilt is so great that aggressive care is insisted on, despite the patient's imminent death.

The system does have some responsibility to direct how health care dollars are spent. Why should routine prenatal care and pediatric checkups be sacrificed for preterminal care that benefits no one and in fact increases suffering? Why should a family be in a position to decide whether to spend public dollars based on an emotional decision? Why should the government go broke because the family wanted "everything done."

Douglas Carroll, M.D.


Talking sense about budget and health

''When we ask the American people to compare competing Medicare proposals, we must be sure to give them accurate information,'' Rep. Ben Cardin (Democrat) wrote in a Dec. 17 article, ''It's the budget, not health.''

L Unfortunately, Mr. Cardin doesn't practice what he preaches.

For example, he wrote that although Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Republican) has assured Americans that they will be free to remain in traditional Medicare, ''In reality, doctors will flee the program because they will find the limited reimbursement rates for Medicare burdensome . . .''

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